BETWEEN FRIENDS: Letters of James Branch Cabell and Others. With an Autograph Manuscript Poem "Before A Row of Votive Candles" by Padraic Colum.

First edition, first printing. Inscribed by Padraic Colum with a manuscript poem and signed postcard. Publisher's original green cloth with blue titles to the spine, in the Anita Walker Scott designed dustwrapper. Top edge blue. An excellent near fine copy, the binding square and firm, the cloth bright and fresh. The contents are clean throughout without previous owner's marks. Complete with the better than very good rubbed and nicked dustwrapper that has a few scuffs and short closed tears at the the extremities. Not price-clipped ($7.50 to the upper front flap).

Inscribed with an original poem by Padraic Colum in pencil to the front endpaper. There is, in addition, an autograph manuscript of a slightly revised version of the same, seemingly unpublished poem. Written in blue ink on twice folded paper and titled 'Before a Row of Votive Candles', it is signed and dated "May 22nd 1962" and inscribed "for Mary Phillips", an employee of Colum's American publisher, Macmillan & Co. Also laid into the book is a Bahamas stamped postcard showing "Sandy Cay, Off Nassau", inscribed from Colum to Phillips. Padraic Colum was a leading figure of the so-called Irish Literary Revival, the late nineteenth and early twentieth-century flowering of poetry, music, and visual art drawing heavily on traditions of Irish, specifically Gaelic, folklore and iconography. Although Yeats was instrumental in establishing the movement, and the young James Joyce dipped his toes into the aesthetic in his early verse, this Celtic twilight world was quickly left behind by the former and treated with disdain by the latter. The young Samuel Beckett would maintain that "contemporary Irish poets [can] be divided into antiquarians and others, the former in the majority, the latter kindly noticed by Mr W. B. Yeats as 'the fish that lie gasping on the shore', suggesting that they might at least learn to expire with an air." Colum, who counted Yeats, Lady Gregory, and Joyce among his friends was clearly an antiquarian, but his friendship with Joyce in particular was warm and enduring, the older writer clearly enjoying the relationship. Colum provided a preface to the first (commercial) appearance of any part of what became Finnegans Wake ('Anna Livia Plurabelle, New York, 1928; "Joyce's inventions and discoveries as an innovator in literary form is more beautifully shown in it than in any other part of his work"), and is name-checked in the finished work. Colum and his wife, Mary, later published a memoir ('Our Friend James Joyce', 1958) recounting their friendship with Joyce, a work regularly cited by Richard Ellmann in his magisterial biography of the novelist. This generous and entertaining volume of letters between Branch Cabell and many luminaries of early twentieth century American literary life (including Fitzgerald, Lewis, Mencken, and Drieser) is edited by Cabell's widow along with Colum.

Stock code: 23227


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